SEC Obtains Asset Freeze Against Miami-Based Investment Adviser
On June 17th, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it obtained an asset freeze and filed fraud charges against a Miami-based investment advisor. Charges were filed against:
- Ramiro Jose Sugrane (CRD#: 1660839);
- UCB Financial Advisers Inc.; and
- UCB Financial Services Limited.
The federal securities regulator alleges that Mr. Sugrane engaged in an improper ‘cherry-picking’ of trades, assigning winning trades to his relatives instead of other customers. Here, our Miami financial advisor fraud attorneys discuss the allegations raised by the SEC.
Financial Advisor Misconduct Allegations: Ramiro Jose Sugrane
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Ramiro Jose Sugrane in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. In the complaint, the SEC alleges that Mr. Sugrane used two investment entities—UCB Financial Advisers Inc. and UCB Financial Services Limited—as part of a ‘cherry-picking’ scheme beginning in the fall of 2015.
Starting in September of 2015, Mr. Sugrane used the two separate UCB investment entities to carry out trades on behalf of more than 100 different investors. Many of these investors were located in Florida, though investors in other states and other countries were impacted as well. In order to place the trades, UCB pooled all investor money into a single account. Using this type of set up, an investment adviser can give all clients the same “average price” when purchasing a large amount of securities. However, in this case, the SEC alleges that Miami investment adviser Ramiro Jose Sugrane was intentionally “cherry-picking” trades for the benefit of two specific clients: Ramiro Sugrañes Hernandes and Thelma Lanzas Sugrañes—an elderly married couple based in Nicaragua.
Both individuals have been named as relief defendants in the complaint. Notably, they are close relatives of Mr. Sugrane. Essentially, the SEC believes that the Miami financial advisor intentionally assigned the “winning” trades to the accounts of his family members. He pushed “losing” trades and less favorable transactions to other clients. The scheme was significant. In total, more than $5 million in winning trades were assigned to the couple. In contrast, the other investors were stuck with more than $4.6 million in losing trades.
Beyond getting an emergency asset freeze and an expedited accounting in order to protect investors, the SEC is seeking all appropriate sanctions against Miami investment advisor Ramiro Jose Sugrane. The federal securities industry regulator is seeking:
- A permanent injunction;
- Disgorgement of ill-received profits;
- Payment of prejudgment interests; and
- Civil financial penalties.
Call Our Miami, FL Financial Advisor Fraud Lawyers for Immediate Legal Help
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Florida investment fraud attorneys have the professional skills and technical expertise to protect your rights. If you suffered financial losses due to the wrongdoing of an investment advisor, we are more than ready to help. Give us a call today to arrange a fully private review of your legal case. With a law office in Miami, we fight for investor rights in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and communities beyond.